How to Sew a Tank Top Pattern, Part 3

| Comments
Share on FacebookPin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someoneBuffer this page

The first two parts of making this tank top can be found here (part 1)Β and here (part 2). If you’ve already made your front and back pattern pieces, then you’re ready to sew them together! I used fashion fabric to make this tank top, but if you want to test your pattern out first, before using up yardage from your fabric stash, you’ll be able to skip most of these steps. To test your muslin, all that you really need to do is sew the darts, shoulder seams, and side seams together. Don’t worry about finishing your raw edges or sewing on bias binding around the neckline and armholes. You will want to stitch a line along the seam line of the neck and armholes, so that you can see exactly where the finished garment lines will lay, but that’s all. Let’s sew!

To begin, you’ll need to cut out one front pattern piece, and one back pattern piece on the fold. My fabric (a Liberty of London print) was wide enough that I could fold the selvedges into the middle of the fabric to save on yardage. I purchased 1.25 yards to make my top, so that I would have enough fabric to also cut my bias tape from the print if I wanted to.


Before you move your pieces, use a tracing wheel and tracing paper to mark your darts. If you don’t have these, I have another tutorial up on how to use pins and a fabric marker to mark your darts.

TankSew2Then cut out enough bias tape to go around your neckline and armholes, plus at least 12″. I know this looks like a lot, but I cut small strips from some leftover navy rayon I had for a contrasting look, and then pieced them together.

TankSew3Once you’re done with your cutting, sew your tank top darts. Use a tailor’s ham or seam roll to press your darts in the right direction.

TankSew4Sewing together one shoulder will make it easier to finish your binding in a bit. I usually seam the right shoulder, and then finish the raw edge with a 3-thread overlock on my serger. On this tank top, I used a 2-thread wrapped stitch, so that the wooly nylon in my lower looper would create a nice soft edge.



Apply the binding to the neckline. My binding was narrow (1.25″ wide), and I sewed it on with 1/4″ of seam allowance. After you sew it onto the neckline, trim the seam allowance down to 1/8″. If your neckline has any sharp curves, you may want to also clip the seam allowance, to allow it to lay completely flat.

TankSew7Next, press the binding up to open the seam between the binding and the tank top. It’s okay if your seam allowance is also pressed up, because we’ll press it back down in a minute.

TankSew8After pressing, seam the other tank top shoulder, matching the seam line and raw edges of the binding. Finish the shoulder raw edge, and then sew the binding onto the armholes in the same manner as the neckline.

TankSew9Next, pin the side seams together, once again being careful to match the binding seam line and raw edges. Finish the side seam raw edge.

TankSew10I don’t have pictures of these next steps (darn it, I have no idea why I don’t), but you will press your binding edge under by 1/4″ and then fold the binding in towards the inside of the garment. This is not the type of binding where the bias tape is exposed on the outside of the tank top. Jen from Grainline has a great tutorial on applying bias tape if you’d like a more detailed look at the steps involved.

Once your bias tape is done, hem your tank top. I folded mine up by 1/4″ and ironed it all the way around, then folded it up again while sewing and stitched the hem in place along the first folded edge. The curve in my hem means I had to do a bit of easing to get the hem allowance to lay flat, but with some steam from my iron to help shrink the fabric, it laid down just fine.

TankSew12Now you’re done! Give your tank top a final press and try it on. What do you think?

Learn create a pattern and sew a tank top on!

  • Love this fabric! Maybe I said that on another post, I don’t remember πŸ˜‰
    That reminds me, must copy your idea for pattern weights, I have the perfect skinny washi tape with multi-coloured polka dots πŸ˜€

    • Thank you, Jennie! I love it too. I’d been eyeing it for a while, and I knew that since I wouldn’t need a lot of yardage (and could therefore save my money by only buying exactly what I needed), it was the perfect splurge.

      The pattern weights are so handy. The only thing about the colored washi tape is that they now make me crave cookies with sprinkles on them. πŸ˜‰

  • mercedes Gilces

    lo haces ver fΓ‘cil ja ja ja ja πŸ™‚
    Mercedes gilces

    • It really is easy, Mercedes! πŸ™‚ Give it a try!

  • LM

    I wish i could tell you how much i love this pattern drafting exercise. it is GENIUS! thank you for being so thorough and for showing what can be done with a sloper. i hope there will be another series like this in the future πŸ™‚ thanks so much!

    • I’m so glad you like it, LM! They take a lot of time to draw up, but as long as someone appreciates and learns from them, I’m happy to make them. I hope you send me a picture when you make a tank top!

  • Yuleima R Malone

    I guess the most difficult is make pattern with you size

  • Cynthia Key

    For years I made the tank top and then added the bias tape as a last step. Your way is soooo much easier. Thanks for sharing the info. I’ve changed my way forever!

    • You’re very welcome! I’m glad it was helpful for you. πŸ™‚